In the digital age, an abundance of data and customer touch-points means businesses can track and measure the impact of their marketing campaigns at a granular level. This capability is partly due to the data collection and analysis functionality inherent in marketing analytics tools.
Given that these tools are manifold, market leaders can find it challenging to choose one that meets their business needs.
This guide will help you evaluate marketing analytics solutions. You’ll learn the criteria your chosen analytics solution must fulfil to ensure your organization has the data to make informed business decisions.
- Data Integration with all your marketing tools but also your CRM and financial data to build meaningful metrics such as customer acquisition cost, lifetime value and ROI,
- Historical data storage to compare performance over time,
- Data management features to ensure data quality and reliability,
- Data analytics capabilities,
- Clear data visualization features to make your data understandable by your team and stakeholders,
- Ease of use for better user experience and long-term adoption.
But first, let’s look at the impact of a marketing analytics tool on your business growth.
The Business Impact of a Marketing Analytics Tool
Marketing analytics tools are vital for several reasons. They help you:
1. Gain a Comprehensive View of Your Marketing Activities
Marketing analytics tools give you the full picture of marketing campaign performance across disparate marketing channels.
It doesn’t matter whether your company engages in social media marketing, email campaigns, paid digital advertising, or a combination of the three. You’ll always know how each channel contributes to your business objectives individually or as part of a collective.
2. Understand Your Customers
You can gain valuable insights into customer behaviour using marketing analytics tools. By analyzing past and present campaign performance, marketing teams can determine which campaigns provided the best customer experience and model future campaigns on them.
You can also use the tool to help with customer segmentation, predict customer responses, and personalize customer journeys.
3. Manage Your Marketing Budget
Having a bird’s eye view of your marketing strategy across all the channels you use provides actionable insights you can rely on when creating your marketing budget. You can glean which marketing initiatives provide the best ROI and identify the channels where you acquire your highest-paying customers.
Conversely, you can identify poor-performing strategies and reallocate marketing dollars to the most productive strategies and channels with the best conversion rates.
4. Make Better Decisions
Ultimately, marketing analytics tools help you make better decisions. Collecting, analyzing, and interpreting marketing data lets you know how your marketing efforts are faring.
When you can identify winning (and losing) strategies, you can make informed decisions regarding resource allocation, customer engagement, and more. In turn, these strategic decisions will bring you closer to attaining business growth.
Marketing analytics also helps with strategy refinement and campaign forecasting. You can predict customer interactions with subsequent campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
Before You Go Out Shopping, Do You Have a Marketing Analytics Process?
Although there are many marketing analytics tools you can use to gather relevant data, the process to get the most out of this data is the same. Follow these steps for effective marketing analytics, from data collection to analysis:
- Identify What You’ll Measure: The first step involves deciding the data you’ll track and analyze. To do that, you’ll need to identify the goal of your marketing strategy. Is it to increase brand awareness, boost website traffic, or enhance content engagement? Once you’re clear about your overall goal, it’ll be easier to create subgoals and determine your metrics of success for individual campaigns and marketing channels.
For instance, if your goal is to enhance content engagement, one of your subgoals could be to increase Instagram engagement by X% this month, with Instagram likes being one of your metrics.
- Collect Past and Present Data: The next step involves collecting data from your past and present marketing campaigns. You’ll collect data from past efforts to identify your best-performing marketing outings. The data from your current campaigns lets you know how you’re doing in real time.
- Develop and Optimize Marketing Strategies: Finally, you’ll use marketing analytics models to develop and optimize your strategies. The main models are descriptive, prescriptive, predictive, and diagnostic.
- Descriptive models entail using the data from past campaigns to guide present and future decisions.
- Predictive models involve using data for consumer behaviour analysis.
- Prescriptive models, meanwhile, involve improving customer experiences based on data obtained from customer touchpoints and engagement.
- The diagnostic model entails uncovering the causes of specific outcomes and correlations among variables.
The purpose of the marketing analytics process is to base your decisions and campaigns on data. You can use it to shape any strategy, whether it’s an e-commerce, social media, or SaaS marketing strategy.
Checklist: What to Consider When Evaluating a Marketing Analytics Tool
Now that you know how to perform marketing analytics, it’s time to choose the best tool to help you. To evaluate marketing analytics solutions effectively, look for the following factors:
1 – Extensive Data Integration
Data integration refers to the process of combining and harmonizing data from multiple sources. These data sources may include:
- marketing tools – CDP, marketing automation, ad platforms…
- Social Platforms and Web Analytics
- email marketing analytics tools
- sales outreach tools
- financial systems to measure the impact of your marketing strategies on the business growth.
Since you probably already have some of these systems in place, you’ll need to check if the marketing analytics tool can connect with them first.
Integrating your data sources prevents data silos. Data integration ensures that you have a comprehensive view of all your marketing campaigns and track your customer journey through the entire journey in your sales and marketing funnel. So, you can easily identify trends, opportunities, and patterns across the entirety of your marketing channels.
Check whether the digital marketing analytics tool is compatible with several formats and offers flexibility and scalability. Also, make sure it offers quick and efficient data syncs. If it has data governance features that align with your business goals, it’s a keeper.
2 – Historical Data Storage
Keeping track of historical data is vital to identify changes in customers’ and prospects’ behaviours and adapt quickly.
Not to mention that social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn stop showing data after a certain amount of time. If you haven’t exported that data into your marketing analytics tool, you simply lost the data. We’re not saying you should keep ALL the data – not sure it’s relevant to look at what happened on your Facebook ads campaigns in January 2010 – but always keeping 2-3 years of data is critical to put the current data into context. Don’t look for terabytes of storage, depending on the volume of data you need for your analysis, just a couple of hundred GB should suffice.
3 – Data Quality
Data quality is the most essential factor to consider when evaluating a marketing analytics tool. In simple terms, it’s a measure of a data set’s fitness for purpose about an organization’s marketing and data strategy needs. High-quality data has the following characteristics:
If your chosen marketing analytics software doesn’t have the data management and cleaning features to make data accessible, up-to-date, and consistent across marketing systems, it can cause you to make poor marketing decisions that lead to wasted time and marketing spend.
So how do you assess a marketing analytics solution for data quality?
You can check the tool’s data sources and collection methods to see whether they’re reliable and relevant to your business. It also helps to look at how it stores data and whether the said method is safe and complies with data safety regulations.
4 – Data Analytics
Data analysis refers to the tool’s ability to process data and transform it into information you can act on. The tool will use four different types of data analytics:
- descriptive analytics
- diagnostic analytics
- predictive analytics
- prescriptive analytics
Through data analysis, you’ll understand not only the what of your marketing performance but also the why. In addition, the tool can help you predict what’ll happen in the future and uncover any improvements you can make.
You can confirm that a tool gets data analysis right by examining its data visualization features, reporting capability, and how accurate, actionable, and relevant its interpretation and recommendation features are.
Also, look into its data modelling functionality, particularly whether it’s robust and rigorous.
5 – Interactive Data Visualization
You should adopt a marketing analysis tool that’s intuitive, not just for digital marketers, but also for other employees. This ease of use will ensure that everyone in your organization can gain insights from the data and make smart data-backed decisions.
Thus, data visualization is the final criterion you can use to evaluate a marketing analytics solution. It refers to a tool’s ability to provide every stakeholder in an organization with insights, no matter their discipline.
Look at the tool’s aesthetics and its customization and collaboration features when evaluating how well it does data representation. Does it have a user-friendly interface or include customizable templates? Can the tool create custom reports for a wide range of company stakeholders? Or, at the very least, can you easily create reports from the volume of data the tool provides? As an organization, you can check online resources on generative AI to gain insights and use cases for your marketing, finance, sales and other departments
The answers you arrive at will determine how easily your company’s stakeholders can interpret and use available data to the organization’s advantage.
Marketing Analytics Tool Integration with Parallel Systems
There’s a high likelihood that your business uses several parallel software systems in its day-to-day operations. You may use tools for customer relationship management, email lookup, and project management, among others, that all contribute to your business processes and bottom line. You’ll have your sales and finance systems in place, too.
So, although many marketing analytics solutions integrate with marketing systems, you likely need one that integrates with other types of systems.
ClicData is one tool that goes the extra mile.
Our platform integrates with hundreds of data sources, letting you sync data from each. Here are some of the benefits a data analytics tool like ClicData provides:
- Standardized Data: With each year your business grows, it’ll get more complex to keep the various teams—from your finance to your sales and marketing teams—in your organization aligned.
Thankfully, you won’t face this issue with a tool like ClicData. Our software’s native connectors let you share consistent data across teams, giving them unparalleled access that aids their productivity and decision-making.
- Reliable Data: Integration makes data importation and exportation across parallel systems a breeze. Gone are the days when manual data entry caused inaccurate and inconsistent data. Instead, with features like automated syncing, data cleaning and standardization, an analytics tool like ClicData will always provide accurate up-to-date data your teams can trust and rely on.
- Impactful metrics: Once all your data is in one place, you can use it in meaningful, calculated metrics such as conversion rates between each stage of the funnel, customer acquisition cost and lifetime value, and of course, your ROI.
Better company customer experiences with ClicData
But that’s not all. ClicData is also easy to use, which means you don’t need to be technologically inclined to avail of its benefits. There’s nothing worse than spending 6 months implementing an analytics tool to see everybody go back to Excel because it’s too complex.
With ClicData, you don’t have to download or install anything. You can easily get started with just a modern browser on Windows, Mac, or Linux. If you want to design your own dashboard, just use the over 70 drag-and-drop widgets, or use a template from our extensive library.
Ultimately, an easy-to-use, intuitive, and yet very powerful tool like ClicData will foster stakeholders’ buy-in, increase end-users’ adoption, and will turn out to be a better investment in the long run.
Supercharge Your Performance With a Solid Marketing Analytics Tool
Marketing analytics solutions ensure your organization has the data it needs to determine its marketing performance and time and resource-wasting strategies.
But you need to choose the right tool.
To evaluate marketing analytics solutions effectively, look at their data integration, quality, analysis, visualization and ease of use. Make sure you also choose a solution that integrates with parallel systems like sales and finance.
If you follow these tips, you can expect your marketing campaigns (and others) to yield the best results. Good luck!
About the author
David Campbell is a digital marketing specialist at Ramp Ventures. He helps manage the content marketing team at Right Inbox. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling and trying to learn Spanish.